Paleo Epiphany

After being Paleo for almost a year, I thought I knew the diet fairly well. I mean, it’s a pretty simple concept; only eat what you can hunt or gather. Are berries Paleo? Yes.  Are cookies Paleo? No. However, last weekend I attended a Paleo seminar that absolutely blew my mind.  he presenter, Diane Rogers, was amazing and really knew her shit. For more information on Diane, check out her website here.  Anyways, I thought I’d share some of the things I learned with you guys!

Veggies:

  • The human body cannot naturally digest many raw vegetables. To get the most nutritional value out of veggies, cook them first. Even better, cook them with fat (coconut oil, lard etc)
  • Since your body can’t digest these raw veggies, it’s better to have lettuce salads instead of spinach or kale salads.
  • The focus of your diet should be on cooked, leafy greens (spinach, kale etc).

Root Veggies:

  • Peel all potatoes and other root vegetables before consuming. Don’t eat the peel.
  • If you have trouble sleeping at night, trying adding a starchy vegetable to your dinner.  iane said sweet potatoes are the best to help you sleep.
  • Root veggies should be consumed after a cardio intensive workout. Some examples include, peeled sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, squash etc.

Protein:

  • Every meal should include a protein source.
  • All beef should be grass fed AND finished. Make sure the cow has been grass fed for its entire life. Some farmers will switch a cow from a grass fed diet to a grain diet near the end of its life to “fatten it up”. If you haven’t seen pictures of what a feedlot looks like, google it, it’s gross. Even better, look into buying a ½ or ¼ of a cow from a local, grass-fed farm. This way, you know exactly where your meat is coming from. And, it ends up being a lot cheaper.
  • Try to get the majority of your protein from eggs, grass fed beef, lamb, pork and wild fish. Try to limit the amount of chicken you consume throughout the week.
  • Organ meats have a ton of nutrients and should be included in your diet if possible (this is something that I’m going to try to work on).
  • For maximum benefit, slow cook/roast your meat.
  • Reuse excess bacon fat for cooking.

Healthy Fats:

  • Cooking oils should include coconut oil, butter (grass fed), ghee, bacon fat and olive oil.
  • Get rid of all canola, soy or corn oil in your diet. That shit is bad for you.
  • Every meal should include a fat source. This can include avocados, egg yolks, meat etc.

Fruit/Nuts:

  • Both of these food groups should be limited (especially if you want to lose weight).  If you look at the Paleo food pyramid, both categories are near top. 
  • If you are to have fruit, choose one that has a low glycemic index such as berries.
  • Try to stay away from dried fruit; there is nothing nutritional about it.

Miscellaneous:

  • Remove all soy from your diet.  Soy is awful for children.
  • Before consuming  Paleo-fied foods (Paleo pancakes), eat some protein and fat first. 
  • If you must take a vitamin, make sure it’s a capsule instead of the traditional “horse pill” vitamin (i.e One a Days). This allows for easier absorption.
  • If you must have a cheat, something non-glutinous is better (ice cream – score!)
  • All packaged salads dressings suck. In order for it to be Paleo, make it yourself. 
  • After a weight lifting WOD, recover with approximately 30g. of lean protein. After a cardio intensive WOD, recover with 100g. of carbs

I know there is more, but my brain is still half asleep. All I want right now is Paleo pancakes. However, my sausage and veggie frittata was amaazzzingballs this morning.   I will post the recipe once I remember to take a picture of it before I eat it.

Was there something you learned about the Paleo diet that shocked you? Is there something you still can’t wrap your mind around? For me, it was accepting the whole “use your excess bacon fat to cook with”.  It just sounds wrong … and delicious.  Anyways, we’d love to hear from you!

-Erica

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29 thoughts on “Paleo Epiphany

  1. Great post! I’m 2 months in on Paleo and I had no idea about grass-fed and finished… I just looked up my butcher’s website and they are fed and finished, but seriously wouldn’t not know to look or ask if I hadn’t read this post! THANK YOU! I was vegan before going Paleo so I am still learning and think I will be for a long long time. How do you store bacon fat?

    • Coming from a cook, keeping it airtight is paramount, as fats are odor ‘sponges’. Furthermore, if you intend to hold it for more than a week, look to the freezer, as its nearly impossible to prevent bits of bacon from remaining in your rendered fat, and that can become toxic long before the fat goes rancid.

      *Bacon fat is actually significantly lower in saturated fat than butter, so while I would probably choose echire butter (one of the best…really expensive) over bacon fat, dollar-for-dollar, nothing beats bacon fat.

  2. It’s funny I don’t really care for cooked spinach though kale and I don’t get along at all unless it’s cooked. I eat spinach and mixed green salads 6-7 days a week. Basically I eat this: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/two-minute-salad/ I have no idea if it’s optimal but I like it and I was getting sick of the Chipotle salad (which isn’t a bad option if you do it right).

    I follow the primal blueprint version of all this information which is probably 95% the same as what you’re describing. The most surprising thing is how it encouraged me to care about every aspect of my health. I’m getting an ailment fixed that has been my excuse for not going to the gym. I’m also very interesting in all sorts of people’s experiences with this diet (thus why I started reading your blog).

    • That’s awesome, Jonathan! Yeah, going Paleo really is an eye opener because you didn’t realize how crappy you were feeling before you started eating clean. It’s definitely motivating because you want to challenge ALL aspects of your health and be in the best shape possible. Best of luck on your journey!! Glad you checked us out 🙂

  3. I don’t get the part about peeling all of your root vegetables. My grandma and mom have always stressed that that’s where a lot of the vitamins and minerals are. Are they wrong? Why did Diane say to peel these?

    • We were shocked by this too, Sarah. Apparently.. “Potato peels can contain a naturally occurring poison – solanine. Potatoes, which like tomatoes and eggplant are members of the Solanaceae contains steroids and toxic chemicals known as glycoalkoloids.The poisons are the potatoes natural defense against soil pests and are therefore concentrated in the peel. A greening of the potato skin is a sign of too much solanine” For more info- check it out here http://www.ireallylikefood.com/754950146/are-potato-skins-healthy-for-you/

      • I guess I knew that about potatoes and tomatoes and eggplants, since they are members of the nightshade family, but sweet potatoes, too? I might still have to eat my sweet potatoes with the skins on.

      • Again, coming from a cook, yes, because potatoes are from the nightshade family, botanically, their plants do produce the compound mentioned, solanine, which is a mild hallucinogen I contemplated for various reasons 😉 a couple years ago. However, it is only potatoes that present visible green on their skin or flesh. Since that green also signifies a potato that was picked prematurely, it would be lacking in culinary prowess anyway.

        Take peaches, apples, and cashews, for example. The seeds of the first two contain amygdalin, which digests into a cyanide compound, and in its raw state, the latter contains urushiol, a resin that is highly toxic if ingested. Some food for thought…

        To peel or not to peel? Unless it has a protective coating of paraffin wax, which I sometimes then melt off with a quick blanch in boiling water to reserve the skin, I never peel anything.

        To each his/her own…

  4. What’s wrong with too much chicken? They’re easier to catch and kill than cows : )
    They’re the meat of choice for other primates. I don’t know, I think following all these rules is too much. It’s just like a religion. No one really knows what happened that long ago.

    • So I think the reason why to limit it is because what they are feeding the chickens. since they are fed a ton of grains and crap, it is what you will also be ingesting if you eat a lot of chicken. I think it follows the same arguement as to why someone should eat grass fed beef instead of grain fed beef… hope this helps!

      • I kind of figured it had something to do with that. But I was a vegetarian for 12 years (and had high cholesterol, probably from all those grains I was eating raising my VLDLs) and in the last three years, still just can’t seem to really catch on to the whole beef/pork thing. I tolerate chicken, prefer turkey, and love fish… But beef I really just can’t do. I need to just raise my own chickens (in my apartment…).

  5. Uhhhhhhhhhh…..well…..ya see the thing is, I am not a Paleo practitioner. It is difficult to describe, without sounding like a weirdo, the status I ascribe to food. I could launch into a long description of its effects, influence, etc., if you want, but for now, I will settle with It does more than people know.
    Let’s say you continue with this diet, and you find yourself in another part of the world. Offered an elaborate meal, prepared by all the members of a poor, extended family, speaking only limited English, would you try to explain why you were forced to reject the offering, or would you oblige the gracious hospitality?
    That’s an extreme example, but coming from a cook, the scenario would not be all that different if I were invited to a friend’s house for dinner, or my significant other’s parents’ house.Granted, I am extreme in my own right, in that unless there is a high probability that I will get sick (indigestion does not count…I am talking SICK!), I will eat whatever is put in front of me. Having already practiced what I preach, I can tell you, the hosts love me, I get invited back, and most importantly, I have experienced some of the greatest meals I have ever had.

    That would be a fantastic name for a blog, by the way. I have a music blog right now. I am pretty good at what I do, in that respect. Nevertheless, food and cooking knowledge is the only thing I feel confident I can stand toe-to-toe with most people in. Perhaps I should launch a blog in some related capacity.

  6. Hi, so yet again I could use your wisdom… Any chance either of you, or maybe one of your readers, would post a sample day’s food list? I feel like I’m preparing a great, balanced day of meals and snacks for myself, but some days I’m still completely ravenous! As an active 29 year old female who’s 5’4″ ish and <120lbs, I'm not exactly huge either… One of the biggest challenges I think I'm running in to is finding enough sources to get enough fat in my day…
    Thanks!

    • It’s guacamole season, so get some avocados (18-20% fat) and go to town. Buy, or make your own (vastly superior), nut butter, any of which can be turned into a sauce for meat. And since it is spring, the fresh produce is quickly becoming superb, so you could make *whispers* pasta primavera. Just cut the vegetables to roughly resemble the shape of the p*st*, 😉 give’em a quick saute in some good olive oil, toss in the al-dente *coughs*, couple cloves of minced garlic, give it 30 seconds stirring it regularly, and voila. (You can also grate some Parmigiano Reggiano on top…just don’t tell the Paleo police.

  7. Pingback: What To Feed Your Paleo, Vegan, Raw Food, Fruitarian, and Vegetarian Guests. « Human Body Engineer

  8. Pingback: a diet for human physiology « power of language blog: partnering with reality by JR Fibonacci

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